November 1, 2002
Kevin Craig, Libertarian Candidate for Congress in the 41st
Congressional District, has announced that he will not vote on November
Craig cited Riverside County's new "touch-screen" voting
machines and growing skepticism among American voters as the two reasons
he'll be staying home on Tuesday.
Who Creates Your Vote?
Craig is chairman of Election Guardians PAC ( www.ElectionGuardians.org
), a political action committee which has been following the case of
Weber v. Jones, a legal challenge to Riverside County's "touchscreen"
voting machines which will be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals next year.
"State law requires Secretary of State Bill Jones to provide
voters with voting machines which are 'safe from fraud and
manipulation,'" Craig said (California
Elections Code §19205). "The nation's leading computer experts
agree that these machines are an open invitation to fraud and
The lawsuit was based on last
year's report by MIT and CalTech which questioned the ability of
voter authorities to monitor glitches or deliberate manipulation of
votes on touchscreen systems without an auditable "paper
That report raised serious concerns about the touchscreen machines,
painting what it called "A Provocative Scenario":
A programmer at SlickVotingMachines Corp. adds malicious code to a
DRE (Direct Recording Electronic device) machine for the California
2004 Presidential election, so that every fiftieth vote for a
Republican candidate is changed to a vote for the corresponding
Democratic candidate. This only happens when the machine is in “real”
mode as opposed to “test” mode, so the election officials never
discover the fraud during their testing. The electronic audit trail
made by the DRE machine is also affected, so “recounts” never
discover anything amiss.
"The winning candidates in modern elections routinely spend
millions of dollars to get elected," Craig observed. "Who
wouldn't budget a few thousand dollars to bribe a low-paid programmer
when there is no way voter authorities can detect the
A federal district court in Los Angeles ruled in September that the
touchscreen machines were a "reasonable" choice by Riverside
County, because they are easier to access by the disabled, provide
ballots in multiple languages, and allow for "early voting
"It may be true that these features might increase voter
turnout," Craig conceded, "but they should not outweigh our
right as voters to know that our votes are actually recorded and
In recent elections, voters in Florida and elsewhere have reported
pressing the button for one candidate and seeing a different name on the
screen. "Even if you see your candidate's name on the screen, you
have no way of knowing how your vote was recorded inside the machine,
because there is no paper trail," Craig said.
No Recount Possible
"After the 2000 election "hanging-chad" fiasco, we've
seen the importance of recounts," Craig said. "No meaningful
recount is possible on a paperless touchcreen, because there are no
Craig said he is encouraging his supporters to forget about a
"secret ballot," and tell their neighbors before and after the
election that they vote for smaller government, but to realize that
talking to their neighbors about how they vote will probably have more
impact than their vote itself.
"This is a case where words speak louder than actions,"
Craig said. "Paul Revere didn't change America by voting,"
Craig reminds us, "he changed America by getting on his horse and
yelling at the top of his lungs."
While Craig admits that voting can "send a message," he
encourages his supporters to go one step further. "Politicians
regard letters from constituents more highly than a vote, estimating
that a single letter represents the feelings of dozens of voters who
chose not to invest the time in letter-writing," Craig said.
He encouraged his supporters to go ahead and vote, but to regard
their vote as "a message in a cyber-bottle" which may never
arrive. "After you throw your bottle into the electronic ocean,
address a personal letter directly to your congressman," Craig
Details on the Weber v. Jones lawsuit are at:
Craig's second reason for not voting is to declare his
"solidarity" with the growing ranks of non-voters. "Most
Americans don't vote. It's been a long time since a politician was
elected by a majority of Americans," Craig said, noting that not
all Americans are even registered to vote, and most Americans who are
registered don't vote
"Put 'None of the Above' on a ballot and you will see voter
turnout skyrocket," Craig predicted.
"Americans don't vote because they don't believe the government
listens. And they are correct," Craig claims.
"Whenever voters approve a proposition by a large margin, unelected
federal judges rule them 'unconstitutional,' or armed federal agents
ignore voters' wishes." Craig referred to voters' attempts in
California to permit medical marijuana and to
reduce the scope of the welfare state.
Craig said he can only name one or two Congressmen who have not
violated their oath of office. "Politicians take
an oath to 'support the constitution,' but we are in no meaningful
sense governed by the Constitution."
Craig pointed out that Constitutional scholars use terms like "The
Administrative State" and "A Fourth Branch of
Government" to cover up this fact.
Craig, himself a candidate for U.S. Congress, noted that Congress has
unconstitutionally delegated its authority
to bureaucracies, obscuring the
separation of powers: "In the Federalist Papers, Madison described
this situation as 'the essence of tyranny,'"
"Even if your vote is counted, and your candidate is elected, in
most cases your candidate can do very little to slow down out-of-control
bureaucracies," Craig lamented.
Craig still encourages others -- especially those who have dropped
out of the electoral process -- to vote for him. "I expended a lot
of effort to get on the ballot, and I hope non-voters might take
advantage of my sacrifice to make their dissatisfaction heard,"
Craig said." I am on their side like no other candidate."
Craig said a growing number of Americans are questioning
the very legitimacy of government itself.
Craig's website at www.KevinCraig.US
is one of the largest campaign websites on the Internet, with webpages
on nearly 200 issues and several thousand hyperlinks.
Details on the Weber v. Jones lawsuit are at: http://ElectionGuardians.org/details.htm
2002: Georgia puts trust in electronic voting